Road Infrastructure, Inclusive Development and Traffic Safety in Korea

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Transport infrastructure opens new routes and creates connections. It increases prosperity by generating economic opportunities, reducing transport costs and supporting agglomeration economies. However, the increased traffic flows also generate environmental and social costs. In Korea, the amount of paved roads increased dramatically between 1951 and 2014, from 580 kilometres to over 87 000 kilometres. This expansion of Korea’s expressway, highway and major road network has created benefits for cities and rural areas across the country, contributing to both economic growth and inclusiveness. This rapid development of road infrastructure and motorisation has also resulted in relatively high traffic fatality rates. This report combines empirical research on the relationship between road infrastructure, inclusive economic development and traffic safety with an assessment of policies and governance structures to help governments find ways to create effective, safe and inclusive transport infrastructures.



Roads and inclusive development in Korea

This chapter describes the economic development of Korea and its accompanying expansion of the road network. It introduces the concept of “inclusive growth”, describes the Korean government’s efforts for “balanced development” and considers how roads can contribute to growth and inclusiveness. A discussion of the “preliminary feasibility study” developed in Korea – an ex-ante assessment of the impact of major infrastructure investment – is followed by an empirical investigation of the outcomes related to the expansion of Korea’s road network. This “ex-post assessment” considers the impact of new roads by linking the increase in access and connectivity that they create to industrial and social outcomes.


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